Focus & Digital Balance

Blogging about Digital Detox and unplugging, customizing our connectivity, new technologies, distraction management, and a healthy lifestyle in our hyperconnected world

The detrimental effect of mobile phones on personal relationships

relationships - mobile phone distraction

We all know what it’s like to be distracted by our mobile phones. We’ve also all experienced what it’s like when the people around us are distracted by theirs. It’s no wonder that comic Charlene deGuzman’s timely video ‘I Forgot My Phone’ had 8 million views in its first week online, and now, just 9 months later, has amassed over 43 million views on YouTube. It’s an astute parody about a phoneless woman living in a hyperconnected world that’s both amusing and haunting in equal measure. Continue reading

Establishing Distinctions: OFFTIME sits down with Sarah Genner


sarah genner offtime interview

This week, we had the pleasure of inviting Sarah Genner over for an exchange of ideas, and a little Q&A. Sarah Genner is a researcher in the field of media psychology- but hails from a diverse academic background that also includes media studies, communications, political science, and linguistics. She’s about to complete her PhD at Zurich University, and in September she’ll take up a guest posting at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
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The Aestheticization of Unplugging

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A still from Focus: Life Gear’s promotional video

From Fitbit to Google Glass, we’ve all heard about the advent of wearable technology, even if we’ve never experienced it first-hand. While it hasn’t exploded in the way that some tech-hype-enthusiasts had predicted, it’s only in its genesis phase.  A recent study by the Pew Research Center has shown that 83% of industry experts believe that by 2025, wearable technology and the Internet of Things will dominate the mainstream. But, as Rob Walker pointed out in his piece for Yahoo! Tech last month, there’s a fascinating counterculture emerging: “some of the most interesting gadgetized accessories these days have an unusual twist: their real function is to thwart or disable technology. Call it the rise of wearable anti-tech.” Continue reading

The Power of Unlugging: The Wider Discussion at re:publica and beyond

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At ( OFFTIME ), we strive to promote active discourse on how we want to live and work in this hyperconnected world. Wherever we go, we bring the discussion with us, and re:publica 14 was no exception. We got people thinking and talking about information overload, the benefits of unplugging, and their on/off-line balance using different mediums. Here’s how: Continue reading

RE/CONNECT at re:publica 14 – RECAP

RE/CONNECT - RP14

In partnership with simyo, ( OFFTIME ) proudly hosted the RE/CONNECT space at re:publica 14, one of Europe’s largest social media conferences. As digital revellers of every species made their way around the conference, over five hundred gravitated towards the RE/CONNECT space to take a little time out, and to make a statement about their on/off-line lives. RE/CONNECT was also the setting for the successful launch of our app, ‘( OFFTIME ) Preview’. Continue reading

The Art of Detachment: Why Unplugging is the Best Way to Recharge

blog_illustration1When leaving the workplace- after shedding an average day’s worth of blood, sweat, and tears- you just want to close that door behind you, and take a load off. But it’s never that simple, is it? Workplace stress, like unruly toilet paper stuck to one’s shoe, hitches a ride with you out of that door. The pressures of modern working life leads to most people bringing their work home with them whether they want to or not. If they don’t, there might be missed opportunities or severe repercussions. But what are the costs of our home lives becoming extensions of our working lives? What are the knock-on effects of work-infested leisure time?

Sabine Sonnentag’s paper, ‘Psychological Detachment From Work During Leisure Time’ (2012) cogently explains the benefits of leaving all work-related thoughts and duties where they rightfully belong- the workplace.  Not only is detaching from work something that people should look forward to and enjoy doing, but it actually comes gift-wrapped with a whole bunch of bonuses for your health. Continue reading